Live Blog: Council Unanimously Approves Baseball Proposal

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We'll be posting live updates from tonight's city council meeting. This morning, we that the city council will consider Centerfield Partner's scaled down proposal to bring a minor league baseball team to Albert Field.

The agenda, a letter from Communities for Albert Park and the original deed for Albert Field is available to the right. Check back in to see what's going on.

10:23 p.m. Council unanimously approves Centerfield Partners's proposal for a minor league baseball team at Albert Field. “It’s not going to be a money maker for San Rafael but everything we do doesn’t have to do with money. It’s matter of civic pride,” Vice Mayor Greg Brockbank said.

10:08 p.m. "I think the Centerfield proposal is the public private partnership that we’ve been waiting to see for improvements at Albert Park," council member Marc Levine said.

10:00 p.m. The Centerfield Partners proposal includes hours spent for practice where the public is not allowed and they will be charged for those hours, McCart said. During that time, there is protective equipment in place for the nearby children's center.

9:43 p.m. Andrew Bartlett, speaking on behalf of the owners of the , doesn’t believe the proposal meets the CEQA exemption and urges the Council not to approve the proposal until an environmental review can be conducted “or we will be taking the issue further,” he said.

9:35 p.m. “There's not going to be 50,000 screaming fans [like AT&T Park], ” said Alec Kassin who said that the field is in disrepair and the improvements that Centerfield Partners is proposing would make the park more hospitible to the local teams. "It's one year, give it a chance," he said.

9:17 p.m. Southern Heights Neighborhood Association president Joanne Franklin-Knox said “I’m going to use words like begging and pleading you to please not endorse this project.” The plan would impact 300 houses that all experience amplified noise from events in , she said.

9:12 p.m. Suzanna Rumon has lived in Gerstle Park for 10 years. “Every single family I’ve talked to in Gerstle Park thinks this is a no brainer," she said and hopes the Council will approve the proposal.

9:05 p.m. "We’ve said ok to every reasonable issue that came before us," Shapiro said about the changes in the plan. "We're paying more in rent and we are providing free parking and we’re doing that at our own risk."

9:03 p.m. Some neighbors criticized the economic viability of the scaled down plan, but "the fact that we have to pass an economic viability litmus test is not required of any other applicant is disturbing," Shapiro said. 

8:56 p.m. Mike Shapiro, acting as adviser for Centerfield Partners, tells the Council that the company regarded the plan as a disincentive for the homeless and gang members who might roam the park, an opportunity for jobs for local teens and a low-cost family-friendly entertainment.

8:50 p.m. This past Friday, two people complained about the noise from , McCart said. He used his own PA system.

8:42 p.m. Local recreational leagues would still get to use the field, but private uses would have to work around the game schedule, according to McCart.

8:38 p.m. “This is an effective model we use throughout our recreational services," McCart said and staff recommends that the Council approve the proposal. The net revenue estimated is  approximately $20,000.

8:35 p.m. "We don't require an environmental review of others who rent the field," McCart said.

8:32p.m. "The use of the field lights is no more or less than what we are using now," McCart said. The noise does exceed prior use, but Centerfield Partners will use the existing PA system and will make improvements to the field.

8:27 p.m. Community Serivces Director Carlene McCart outlines the differences in the new proposal: the lease is for one year not three; parking is now free; seating capacity went down from 1,500 to 800 seats; alcohol consumption will be cut off by 10 p.m. or by the seventh inning; there will be scaled down private security; concessions will be sold inside the stadium. "The scope of use is consistent with historic use of the park," she said.

8:21 p.m. “This is getting to our sixth meeting to talk about the issues of this proposal," said City Manager Nancy Mackle. Tonight the Council will decide for the use of the park.

8:19 p.m. Consent calendar is approved. Baseball up next.

8:06 p.m. People are trickling in to City Hall.


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